Following up on condemning the police’s arrest of Yoruba indigenes on the recent ethnic clash in Ile Ife, Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, has said it will mobilise about 100 lawyers to defend the 20 indigenes of Ile-Ife, who were arrested and transferred to Abuja.
Earlier on Monday, The pan-Yoruba group had faulted the fact that no Hausa/Fulani suspect was included among the suspects involved in the Ile- Ife violence. All 20 suspects, are Yoruba people, including a traditional ruler, Oba Ademola Ademiluyi, the Lawarikan of Apojeland, were paraded in Abuja at The Police Force Headquarters.
Afenifere said it objected seriously to the parade of the “so-called suspects in Abuja that is hundreds of miles away from the scene of the conflict “We reject the one-eyed Magistrate that the police have become in this matter and which is as a result of the ethnic composition of the police presently”.
In a new statement released by the group, Afenifere said it would resist the undue deployment of federal troops in the South-West to settle ethnic scores. “Following the illegal, unconstitutional and sectional parade of 20 Ife indigenes over the recent clashes between the host community and Arewa settlers, Afenifere has vowed to resist the undue deployment of federal might to settle ethnic scores.
“As a first step in this regard, we have assembled a powerful team of lawyers to enforce the fundamental human rights of the 20 abducted Yoruba persons.
“It is a settled law that the investigation and trial of suspects must take place at the scene of the crime. We are appreciative of the many lawyers of Yoruba extraction who have taken up this challenge pro bono.
“The legal team will challenge this subversion of due process while political pressure continues on why two communities will be involved in a fight and only members of one community will be put on trial by a police whose leadership is of the same ethnic group with the other party in the conflict.
“We restate the fact that the Arewa group started the killings in Ife by killing a Yoruba young man. This is clearly missing in the skewed report by the police.
“We appeal to our people to be calm while we pursue the legal angle to this challenge to our pride as a people as the first step.”